Donegal GAA officials have called in the Croke Park IT department to help track down the culprit/culprits behind a spate of contentious and damaging emails.
The emails have been in circulation in recent weeks and are highly critical of the way Donegal officials allocated tickets for the All-Ireland football final.
The emails purport to be from a friend of Donegal referees and outline referees’ disappointment at only receiving one ticket for the All-Ireland.
The emails also contain false claims about the number of free tickets Executive members were allocated and also falsely claim that extra tickets were available for purchase by the executive members.
Donegal officials are treating the emails very seriously and see them as bringing the Association into disrepute.
“They have been in circulation for a number of weeks and have been sent in both what we believe to be a fictitious name and have also been sent from an anonymous address,” explained Donegal GAA secretary, Aodh Mairtin O Fearraigh.
“They contain a number of inaccuracies which are very damaging and we are determined to track down the individual or individuals that are responsible for them. That is why we have launched an investigation and have called in the IT department in Croke Park to assist us in the investigation.
“We are confident that we will get to the bottom of the matter and we will deal with the individual or individuals behind these emails that contain many inaccuracies. And how we deal with the culprit/culprits is covered under GAA rules.
“This is a serious matter and we cannot have people spreading falsehoods about the officer board and forwarding this false information to both the local and national media.”
Two emails were forwarded to all media outlets in the county and nationally including the Democrat/People’s Press. This publication has received two of the emails one in the name of a person not known in refereeing circles and the second from an anonymous address.
The first was sent ten days or so before the final and following a highly contentious meeting of referees at which they voiced their displeasure at the allocation of one ticket per active adult referee.
That email stated that referees were going to go on strike unless a request for two tickets per official was not looked favourably on by senior officials. The second email was circulated to the media last Tuesday and again repeated the referees’ displeasure and spoke of officials withdrawing their services of the weekend’s programme of championship games.
Meanwhile, an unofficial Donegal Referees’ Facebook page was taken down hours after being first opened on Saturday week last, the day before the All-Ireland final. The page, which was also critical of senior Donegal officials, was taken down after the Donegal Referees’ Administrator Pat Walsh, circulated a text to all referees in the county.
It is understood that the Page was removed before county officers got to identify the source server address.